Phillies Prospect #24: Travis Mattair

The Phillies seemingly came out of nowhere to take high school infielder Travis Mattair in the second round of last year's draft. After seeing other teams scout him much more heavily, Mattair is glad to be where he's at.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 2nd round of the 2007 Draft.

B: R T: R / Height: 6' 5" / Weight: 210 lbs.

Birth Date:  December 21, 1988

2007 Team: Gulf Coast League

Positions Played in 2007:  3B (48 g)

School: Southridge High School (Kennewick, WA)

Batting and Power:  Pretty much every scout that saw Travis Mattair play expects him to show power at all levels, but it won't be the raw sort of power that players like Ryan Howard possess. Instead, it will be the more refined and generated type of power that a Chase Utley type player develops. In other words, it's going to be built more on learning the game, finding the right pitch and taking the right approach to hitting that pitch. He's got a swing that allows him to go the other way and didn't put up offensive numbers in high school that were produced only because he was swinging with a piece of metal in his hand. He should be able to hit for a decent average once he adjusts to the step up in pitching that he's going to be seeing in the minors compared to what he saw in high school. Right now, he's striking out a lot, but with some work on learning to hit the curve, he will cut down on those strikeouts and they'll fall more in line with his power numbers.

Baserunning and Speed: Mattair doesn't generally get a good jump on the bases, so he's not likely to be the best of base stealers. Once he's under way though, he's got good speed and instincts, but that first step or two slow him down enough to hurt his skills. He's smart about when to take an extra base and doesn't run into many outs.

Defense: He's a pretty big guy, but Mattair is athletic enough to get to balls hit away from him. Again, that first step is a bit of an issue, but his footwork is generally good enough to not slow him down any further. In high school, he played a lot of shortstop, but doesn't have the range to play there in the pros, so the Phillies immediately moved him to third and it's likely that he'll stay there. His arm is accurate and above average and he can throw well on the run.

Projection: There is a lot of work to do with Mattair, but he's got the physical make up and the mental strength to put in the work. He's also got a special passion about baseball and willingly accepted the move to third base, never questioning what the Phillies wanted him to do. As with most players his age, there's a learning curve where you just generally have to accept that they're going to be under par from where you might want them to be, but he should reach a point where a light goes on and it all comes together, and it's likely that point won't be too far down the road. He'll likely need at least one more summer in the short-season leagues and maybe even two, but after that, Mattair should be able to start the official climb toward the top.

Comparison: Nobody is suggesting that he'll put up all the stats of Chase Utley, but he has the same type of mentality and approach to the game that Utley uses to succeed. He plays hard and is putting in as much work as possible, learning from coaches and looking to get the job done, and that's what you have to look for in young high school players for their first couple of minor league seasons. He's got the potential to become the official third baseman of the future for the Phillies, now that Mike Costanzo is in the Orioles organization.

What else you should know about Travis Mattair: 

  • His nickname is Moose.
  • He was expecting to be drafted by the Diamondbacks, Mariners, Rangers or Twins, since they had shown the most pre-draft interest in him.
  • Turned down a scholarship to the University of Oregon to sign with the Phillies.

Travis Mattair's career stats

2007 GCL 3 21 .235 54 200 19 57 10 1 3 12 58 .297 .340

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